PEOPLE & CULTURE

last mermaids, the

programme information

Duration

1 x 60'

Production Company

Arirang TV

YOP

2011

Definitions

SD HD

Episode Information

Mother to daughter, generation after generation, for over 2000 years, the women of Jeju Island off South Korea have worked as Haenyos, or sea divers. We follow these women, aged between 45-85, as they dive deep into the ocean, with only lead belts and a sharp knife, skilfully picking abalone and octopus. At 83 years old, Ok-sun Hyun is the best diver in Jeju island. For 65 years, she has hung between life and death as a shell-diver. This is primitive, painful, lonely work, rife with danger. But the women are steadfast, comical, and spiritual. This remarkable, unique, programme follows the woman in the sea and at home, and they chase the shells, and hope the tides are kind. They are remarkable, proud, and brave. But is this an occupation from a previous generation? Will it survive to another age, or are these truly the last mermaids?

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